The sounds of laughter, gospel and bluegrass will fill the air, as city of Grove's Third of July celebration gets underway.

The event, a mixture of old and new, will feature Borderline Bluegrass with special guests New Road, and gets underway with a welcome at 6 p.m., by organizer Darrell Mastin.

"It's the same basic formula," Mastin said with a laugh. "It works and everybody is happy."

As in past years, the entertainment will begin after an invocation. Borderline Bluegrass is slated to perform for the first part, followed by a performance by New Road.

The third portion of the evening include a mix of Borderline Bluegrass and New Road musicians.

Mastin said Borderline Bluegrass, who appeared last year at the festival, has a traditional bluegrass feel, while New Road performs a mixture of gospel and country music.  

When the bands join forces, Mastin said, they will perform a mixture of country and bluegrass for the audience.

"They perform a full-sound type of deal," Mastin said. 

Members of the Grove Fire Department will begin to serve free watermelon at approximately 7 p.m. 

As of Monday, Mastin said, the flyover which typically takes place during the intermission may not happen due to pilot scheduling conflicts. 

The fireworks will begin at dusk, or after 9 p.m., following the National Anthem, sung by Broadway star and local celebrity Ron Young.

This is the third year organizers have been able to expand the firework show because Grove firefighters have become certified to run the show.

Mastin said this effort gives organizers a way to purchase additional fireworks, giving residents "more bang, for their buck."

"They not only stop fires, but in this case [the firemen] start fires," Mastin said with a laugh. 

Mastin said the fireworks, as well as the entire musical offerings, provides "consistent, family type of entertainment," for viewers of all ages. 

"It's going to be a great show," Mastin said. "My favorite part is, once it all gets started, to make the rounds in the crowd, seeing the old faithful and people having a good time."

Mastin said the event is very "americana" at its best.

"It's a downhome type of fun," Mastin said. "It's kind of a throwback event. An event for the whole community. It's very innocent and patriotic."

Now that 2018 is almost complete, Mastin has begun working on the 2019 show. He always looks 

Entertainment abounds

Mastin expects Borderline Bluegrass to provide a "fabulous show," for those attending the celebration. 

He said the group has enough elements, to present a show that provides a variety of sounds.

Borderline Bluegrass is a “polished three-part harmony, vocals and a high energy performance,” led by Jon Harden.

New Road, based in Purdy, Missouri, includes Caleb Reavis, and Doug Clifton, the founding members of the group.

They are joined by Nathan Terry, who was the founder and manager of The Signature Quartet for 12 years.

Other members include Gene Reasoner, Billy Summers, Bob Ashley, and Tim Case.

All of the band members have a mixture of musical experiences, and most take part in some form of music ministry in addition to New Road.

More About Third of July

The City of Grove's Third of July Celebration will take place on the grounds of Wolf Creek Park, located at 963 North 16th Street in Grove.

The stage will be set up along the grassy area, north of the road. The large, far north parking lot will be reserved for handicapped parking. General parking will be available in the parking lot next to the bathrooms.

Participants are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, umbrellas and picnic fare to the event. As in past years, alcohol is prohibited at Wolf Creek Park.

Additionally, several vendors including several youth organizations, will be on hand in the large parking lot offering a variety of concessions including kettle corn, indian tacos, hamburgers and hot dogs and more.

The parking lot connected to the boat ramps will be available for families who wish to sit near the lake banks to watch fireworks.

While swimming in the lake is not be prohibited, event organizers ask people to use common sense and to keep a close eye at all times on children who play in the water. Lifejackets are encouraged to be used.

Fireworks will be launched from the hillside next to the City of Grove's Wastewater Treatment Center, across from Wolf Creek Park, rather than a barge in the cove. 

Because of this, boaters now have access to the entire waterway and docks, throughout the event. 

Shuttles will be available for drivers beginning at 5:30 p.m., for people who choose to park at the Grove Civic Center.

Members of the Grove Police Department will begin directing traffic at 5 p.m. Traffic will be allowed to enter the facility using 21st Street. Officials plan to limit traffic on 16th Street to shuttles and emergency vehicles.

After the fireworks, traffic will be directed to leave Wolf Creek Park using 21st Street. Like last year, only one lane of traffic will be utilized rather than two lanes of traffic as well as limited turning at Highway 59. Members of the Grove VIPs will be on hand to direct traffic throughout the evening.